Top Tassie wilderness photographers on Instagram
WE LIVE FOR stunning wilderness photography – and among the 40 billion-plus photos shared every day on the social media platform Instagram, there’s plenty to satiate our appetite.
In particular, we reckon Australia’s very own island state of Tasmania certainly punches above its weight when it comes to the number of talented photographers sharing breath-taking Tasmanian wilderness photography with the rest of the world.
So, feeling inspired, we asked five Tasmanian-based wilderness photographers on Instagram about themselves, their work, their top Tassie locations to shoot – and to share their favourite Instagram photos.
Read on for an insight into the world of wilderness photographers on Instagram, and check out our gallery for a sample of their breathtaking work.
1. Nick Monk
“It is my belief that Tasmanian wilderness photography is its own sub-genre of landscape photography,” says Nick, who is based in the Huon Valley south of Hobart.
“It takes a genuine passion and understanding of the natural values of the Tasmanian landscape for a photographer to produce work that truly captures Tasmania’s wild essence,” he says.
Employed as a crime scene examiner by day, Nick’s passion for photography stemmed out of his love of bushwalking.
Nick took this ‘selfie’ in front of the boat shed at Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain “after a particularly boring sunset”. (Image courtesy Nick Monk Photography)
Nick says he has noticed a rising trend towards “trophy hunting” in the world of social media photography – “esentially seeing photographs of beautiful places, and specifically travelling to those locations to ‘get the shot’,” he says. Good wilderness photography requires a more intimate approach, he adds.
“To be a wilderness photographer requires a lot more than a passing interest of a beautiful location. You have to understand it. You have to be passionate about the rock, the flora, the fauna, the detail – and not take any of it for granted,” he says.
2. Cameron Blake
Cam Blake started photographing as a kid and now works as a professional landscape photographer, hosting workshops in Tasmania and working for the tourism industry. “I find Instagram a great way to promote my work quickly and from location,” he says.
Cam’s favourite place to shoot in Tassie is Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park. “It has a great variety of locations, weather and feel to it,” he says. “I also enjoy the southwest region of Tasmania, again due to it untouched nature it makes a perfect studio for capturing wilderness and landscape images.”
(Image courtesy Cam Blake Photography)
Cam’s advice to aspiring photographers is simple, he says: “Get out there and capture the beauty of the world.” Practice also makes perfect, he adds, and he recommends asking the pros for advice. “And lastly, make sure you enjoy it,” he says. “Getting out there in the wilderness is some of the best therapy you can give yourself away from the busy city life.”
3. Francois Fourie
It’s not hard to see why Tassie has bred such a passionate tribe of wilderness photographers, says Francois. “You can watch the sunrise from the top a mountain in the morning, spend the afternoon walking through temperate rainforests, photograph spectacular waterfalls, and go for a walk on white sandy beaches by sunset. This little state has it all,” he says.
Francois was born in South Africa and settled in Tasmania after eight years of exploring the world out of his backpack. It was during his travels that his love for photography emerged, “but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I started taking it a bit more seriously,” he says.
Francois exploring deep in the Tassie wilderness. (Image courtesy Francois Fourie)
Francois’ favourite place to shoot in Tasmania is the southwest. “You can walk for days and not see a single person or man-made structure,” he says.
His advice for aspiring wilderness photographers? “Just get out there! Nomatter what the weather. A good photo won’t take itself, you have to be out there, in the elements, if you want to get the shot.”
4. Hillary Younger
Tasmania has a strong tradition of landscape photography, says Hillary, “which means not only sharing the beauty we see here, but inspiring belief in its value, and ultimately saving and protecting it.”
Hillary grew up in a small town in the north-east of Tasmania riding horses “often over large tracts of unfenced coastal land,” she says. “Being alone in the natural and wild world was common for me, and always a source of joy.”
Hillary at South Cape Bay, Tasmania. (Image courtesy Hillary Younger)
Going through a particularly tough time in her life a few years back, Hillary says it was through the wilderness that she was able to “regain joy in my life” – joy which she was able to channel through her camera.
Hillary’s favourite place to photograph in Tassie is the coast (“Water and motion, I love to play with it,” she says) – however it is the diversity of the small island state that keeps drawing her back. “I could be on a beach in the morning, a mountain in the afternoon, and be there along – and chances are high that those places would be pristine,” she says.
5. Jason Stephens
The best part of being a wilderness photographer in Tasmania, says Jason, is not having to share much – “there are 19 national parks in Tasmania, each with their fair shair of stunning scenery. And, best of all, in most cases the wilderness is not overpopulated with people,” he says.
Jason first picked up a camera in 2011, and in January this year, his photo of an echidna on Hanson’s Peak in Cradle Mountain National Park was selected as AG Reader Photo of the week. Cradle Mountain is Jason’s favourite location to shoot – “It’s a place I have always loved photographing from my early learning days as a photographer til now,” he says. “It’s very rarely ever the same each time I visit, each adventure is a new experience.”
Jason first picked up a camera in 2011, he says – and never looked back. (Image courtesy Jason Stephens)
Jason says he shares his work on Instagram mainly “to show off how beautiful Tasmania is”, but also to feel part of a community and be inspired by other photographers.
His advice to other aspiring wilderness and landscape photographers is to research weather and times of year depending on your choice of destination. “Good light is never easy, so a good understanding of weather and its patterns helps,” he says, adding “never rely on computer software, get the image right in-camera.”
And most importantly? “Respect the impact you will have on the environment, leave no trace.”